Styles & Forms | Punk | The Second Wave (1977–78) | An Overview

As The Sex Pistols passed through three record companies in the first half of 1977, sacked their songwriting bass player for liking The Beatles and struggled to find venues that would let them play, they became a side-show in the thriving British punk scene now led by The Clash.

In London, new punk clubs sprang up and found no shortage of bands to book: Generation X, X-Ray Spex, The Adverts, Subway Sect and Wire. In New York the diversity of bands on display meant that there was something for almost every taste, from the cerebral Television and Talking Heads to The Dead Boys’ outrageousness, with Richard Hell somewhere in between. Meanwhile, The Ramones refined their garage/surf/punk style to the point of commercialism. The West Coast scene was hotting up in Los Angeles with The Weirdos and The Germs, and in San Francisco with The Nuns and The Mutants.

Early in 1978 The Sex Pistols, who six months earlier had set the British establishment aquiver as they mocked the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, disintegrated into farce after an American tour. But British punk had found its voice, as was forcefully shown at a Rock Against Racism concert in London’s Victoria Park, headlined by The Clash, that attracted some 80,000 people.

Styles & Forms | Introducing Punk
Styles & Forms | Punk | The Second Wave (1977) | Key Events


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